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10 Factors to Consider when Writing your CV


This article contains information about the 10 important factors to consider when writing your Curriculum Vitae (CV).

10 Factors to Consider When Writing Your CV

Virtually every job application requires what we all know as a CV. In fact, it is a norm as a young person who probably just concluded his or her first degree and in the prime of their career to set out in job hunting. While some are lucky to get one as soon as they are out of school, the majority have to tirelessly search for due to a number of factors which is not our priority in this article. CV is an acronym for curriculum vitae, and is a written detailed document of your professional life, highlighting the professional and academic history used whenever you are looking for employment or to sell yourself to prospective employers. It includes your professional history, personal skills, abilities and achievements and majorly your competencies that make you fit for employment.

When looking for a job, apart from other required documents like your Cover letter or application letter, your CV is one of the important documents your prospective employers would critically focus on to vet your abilities. Remember that you might not be opportune to submit your CV physically, technology has blurred that line, your prospective employer does not know you, hence the more reason why must take your precious time to write a solid and well convincing CV in order to give a positive notion of you just at first glance. When providing a convincing cum sincere curriculum vitae, you are sure to get through the next stage or even hit your target- get the job. Note the word “Sincere”. There are numerous testimonies of such. So have you wondered why you are always rejected or never called for the next stage? Maybe you should take into consideration the following.

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1. Length

Your employers would most certainly have dozens of CVs to review coupled with their own job tasks. It can be very boring reading over long epistles about a person you have not met before especially when it is not an autobiography. When writing your CV, consider your readers, it shouldn’t be too long. Make each point very concise, clear and in bullet points. It shouldn’t be more than 2 or 3 pages irrespective of your years of experience. Even though the CV is more detailed than a resume, you must keep it short and simple. For instance, when you are talking about your job experience at your former job, go straight to the major task you were assigned and if there were turning points you think are relevant to your career and new job placement, you should add it, but it must be succinct. Also if the two previous jobs you had were the same task, you should avoid repetition of what you did, rather try to provide a point of distinction between your achievements in both companies.

2. Personal Profile

Your personal profile should be the first part of your CV and not the side of the page or last. The selection committee wants to know you first. It should include your full name, phone number, home address, gender and email address. You should also be careful to add other physical features if requested deliberately by your prospective employers. The order at which your write them matters, they give a first and lasting impression of you. The name should always come first and can be in bolder fonts compared to the others.

3. Formatting

This might look unnecessary, but it really mater. No company is interested in a young graduate who does not know how to use fonts properly. How then would he or she prepare a communiqué after a staff’s meeting? When writing your CV, do not overuse colour (two colours are okay) and ensure that you stick to a particular font and must be arranged properly even if the headers would have a different size from the other texts. They must be arranged properly. If possible, you could check the company’s website for their own unique font and colour, this would the company the impression that you have done your homework by doing research into the values and objectives of the company and you are very ready to get the job.

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4. Academic History

This is another important part of your document. You must prove that you have acquired the right academic qualification to fit into the job. Provide details of your academic history in reverse chronological order; this includes your academic achievements from the last to the first, i.e. post-doctoral program, graduate school, undergraduate school and high school. Note that it should only include your most recent two educational experiences. So if you have a Master’s degree, just your Undergraduate and Master’s degree is sufficient. It should include the name of your Alma Mata, course of study and grade if you think it is necessary. These would help the interview committee know if you have the necessary skill to fit the job position. Employers cannot employ an Engineer for a health-related position unless the engineer has gotten a certification after undergraduate studies. That should be clearly stated in your CV, you can be considered too. I have heard of engineers working in banks.

5. Professional Experience

Your selection committee is interested in where you have worked in the past and your competencies, it would define their judgment if you are right for the job or not. Record your professional experience; list the companies or organizations you’ve worked in, stating the title of the job and the dates you were employed, your job duties, experience and achievements this should not be in more than three or four bullet points. Make sure your achievement or job activities reflect the job description of the new job. For example, if you were an accountant and you’re applying for a job as an Auditor, they do almost similar things, but your past experiences must prove that you can thrive as an auditor.

6. Skills and Qualification

Do not forget to include relevant skills and qualification; this can be on a separate section, go through the job description thoroughly and highlight the most important skills the employers are looking for. If you have taken online courses or certifications in courses outside your course and you think it is relevant to the job, you should add it. As a Computer science graduates, it is expected that you take certification courses after their undergraduate degree, your various certifications and year of completion should be provided on your CV. It is an added advantage

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7. Honours and Awards

You can also outline your achievements in the field related to your application, start with the name of the award followed by the dates received, then the name of the organization that gave the award. Do not provide further details of how and why you were granted the award, which is not necessary. For example, if you were a recipient of the academic award while in school, it is not necessary to tell your prospective why you got the award. The name of the award it enough and if they are interested in further details, they could ask during the interview session.

8. Publications and presentations

If there are any include relevant citations of presentations, papers, studies, books or other publications important to your professional history. These would be very relevant if you want to serve in a university or any other academic environment.

9. Reference

There are stories of applicants who provided “fake” reference contacts which automatically disqualified them. Contact your referees for confirmation and if not, simply put ‘Available on request”. However, your referees should be really available and must be people that know you very well and your competencies, your employers can go as far as calling your referees.

10. Proof Read

Before submitting your CV, make sure you go through it thoroughly and ask a friend or a job expert to aid you to criticize and cross-check your work to avoid unnecessary errors. Do not forget to write in an active voice. See an example of an active and passive voice;

  • Passive Voice- The ball was thrown by Dede
  • Active Voice- Dede threw the ball

Did you observe the difference? The active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated in the verb. The active voice is more straight forward than the passive voice.

In Conclusion, Maintain a job is pretty easy, but getting one can be hard, but if you prove your value by providing a well-rounded Curriculum Vitae, that’s a major step to landing that dream job, so do it well!

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